Special Issue "Nanoscale Self-Assembly: Nanopatterning and Metrology"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Nanofabrication and Nanomanufacturing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 March 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Federico Ferrarese Lupi
Website
Guest Editor
Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica, Torino, Italy
Interests: metrology; clock copolymers; nanopatterning; hierarchical assembly; directed self-assembly

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The self-assembly process underlies a plethora of natural phenomena from the macro to the nano scale. Often, technological development has found great inspiration in the natural world, as evidenced by numerous fabrication techniques based on self-assembly. One striking example is given by epitaxial growths, in which atoms represent the building blocks. In lithography, the use of self-assembling materials is considered an extremely promising patterning option to overcome the size scale limitations imposed by the conventional photolithographic methods. To this purpose, in the last two decades several supramolecular self-assembling materials have been investigated and successfully applied to create patterns at a nanometric scale (e.g., spherical colloids, block copolymers, nanotubes, and nanowires). Although considerable progress has been made so far in the control of self-assembly processes applied to nanolithography, a number of unresolved problems related to the reproducibility and metrology of the self-assembled features are still open. Addressing these issues is mandatory in order to allow the widespread diffusion of self-assembling materials for applications such as microelectronics, photonics, or biology. In this context, the aim of the present Special Issue is to gather original research papers and comprehensive reviews covering various aspects of the self-assembly processes applied to nanopatterning. Topics include but are not limited to the following:

- The theory, simulation, and synthesis of self-assembling materials;

- The development of novel self-assembly methods;

- The realization of nanometric structures and devices;

- The improvement of long-range order (directed self-assembly, dewetting, coassembly, and hierarchical assembly);

- Metrology issues related to the nanoscale characterization of self-assembed structures.

Dr. Federico Ferrarese Lupi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nanomaterials is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Self-assembly
  • Nanopatterning
  • Directed self-assembly
  • Hierarchical assembly
  • Clock copolymers
  • Nanosphere lithography
  • Nanomaterials
  • Nano metrology

Published Papers (6 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Resist-Free Directed Self-Assembly Chemo-Epitaxy Approach for Line/Space Patterning
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(12), 2443; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10122443 - 07 Dec 2020
Viewed by 462
Abstract
This work reports a novel, simple, and resist-free chemo-epitaxy process permitting the directed self-assembly (DSA) of lamella polystyrene-block-polymethylmethacrylate (PS-b-PMMA) block copolymers (BCPs) on a 300 mm wafer. 193i lithography is used to manufacture topographical guiding silicon oxide line/space patterns. The critical [...] Read more.
This work reports a novel, simple, and resist-free chemo-epitaxy process permitting the directed self-assembly (DSA) of lamella polystyrene-block-polymethylmethacrylate (PS-b-PMMA) block copolymers (BCPs) on a 300 mm wafer. 193i lithography is used to manufacture topographical guiding silicon oxide line/space patterns. The critical dimension (CD) of the silicon oxide line obtained can be easily trimmed by means of wet or dry etching: it allows a good control of the CD that permits finely tuning the guideline and the background dimensions. The chemical pattern that permits the DSA of the BCP is formed by a polystyrene (PS) guide and brush layers obtained with the grafting of the neutral layer polystyrene-random-polymethylmethacrylate (PS-r-PMMA). Moreover, data regarding the line edge roughness (LER) and line width roughness (LWR) are discussed with reference to the literature and to the stringent requirements of semiconductor technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoscale Self-Assembly: Nanopatterning and Metrology)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Directed Self-Assembly of Polystyrene Nanospheres by Direct Laser-Writing Lithography
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(2), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10020280 - 07 Feb 2020
Viewed by 853
Abstract
In this work, we performed a systematic study on the effect of the geometry of pre-patterned templates and spin-coating conditions on the self-assembling process of colloidal nanospheres. To achieve this goal, large-scale templates, with different size and shape, were generated by direct laser-writer [...] Read more.
In this work, we performed a systematic study on the effect of the geometry of pre-patterned templates and spin-coating conditions on the self-assembling process of colloidal nanospheres. To achieve this goal, large-scale templates, with different size and shape, were generated by direct laser-writer lithography over square millimetre areas. When deposited over patterned templates, the ordering dynamics of the self-assembled nanospheres exhibits an inverse trend with respect to that observed for the maximisation of the correlation length ξ on a flat surface. Furthermore, the self-assembly process was found to be strongly dependent on the height (H) of the template sidewalls. In particular, we observed that, when H is 0.6 times the nanospheres diameter and spinning speed 2500 rpm, the formation of a confined and well ordered monolayer is promoted. To unveil the defects generation inside the templates, a systematic assessment of the directed self-assembly quality was performed by a novel method based on Delaunay triangulation. As a result of this study, we found that, in the best deposition conditions, the self-assembly process leads to well-ordered monolayer that extended for tens of micrometres within the linear templates, where 96.2% of them is aligned with the template sidewalls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoscale Self-Assembly: Nanopatterning and Metrology)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Characterisation of the PS-PMMA Interfaces in Microphase Separated Block Copolymer Thin Films by Analytical (S)TEM
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(1), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10010141 - 13 Jan 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1125
Abstract
Block copolymer (BCP) self-assembly is a promising tool for next generation lithography as microphase separated polymer domains in thin films can act as templates for surface nanopatterning with sub-20 nm features. The replicated patterns can, however, only be as precise as their templates. [...] Read more.
Block copolymer (BCP) self-assembly is a promising tool for next generation lithography as microphase separated polymer domains in thin films can act as templates for surface nanopatterning with sub-20 nm features. The replicated patterns can, however, only be as precise as their templates. Thus, the investigation of the morphology of polymer domains is of great importance. Commonly used analytical techniques (neutron scattering, scanning force microscopy) either lack spatial information or nanoscale resolution. Using advanced analytical (scanning) transmission electron microscopy ((S)TEM), we provide real space information on polymer domain morphology and interfaces between polystyrene (PS) and polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) in cylinder- and lamellae-forming BCPs at highest resolution. This allows us to correlate the internal structure of polymer domains with line edge roughnesses, interface widths and domain sizes. STEM is employed for high-resolution imaging, electron energy loss spectroscopy and energy filtered TEM (EFTEM) spectroscopic imaging for material identification and EFTEM thickness mapping for visualisation of material densities at defects. The volume fraction of non-phase separated polymer species can be analysed by EFTEM. These methods give new insights into the morphology of polymer domains the exact knowledge of which will allow to improve pattern quality for nanolithography. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoscale Self-Assembly: Nanopatterning and Metrology)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Enhancing Photoluminescence Quenching in Donor–Acceptor PCE11:PPCBMB Films through the Optimization of Film Microstructure
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(12), 1757; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9121757 - 10 Dec 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 828
Abstract
We show that a precise control of deposition speed during the fabrication of polyfullerenes and donor polymer films by convective self-assembly leads to an optimized film microstructure comprised of interconnected crystalline polymer domains comparable to molecular dimensions intercalated with similar polyfullerene domains. Moreover, [...] Read more.
We show that a precise control of deposition speed during the fabrication of polyfullerenes and donor polymer films by convective self-assembly leads to an optimized film microstructure comprised of interconnected crystalline polymer domains comparable to molecular dimensions intercalated with similar polyfullerene domains. Moreover, in blended films, we have found a correlation between deposition speed, the resulting microstructure, and photoluminescence quenching. The latter appeared more intense for lower deposition speeds due to a more favorable structuring at the nanoscale of the two donor and acceptor systems in the resulting blend films. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoscale Self-Assembly: Nanopatterning and Metrology)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Multimaterial 3D Printing for Arbitrary Distribution with Nanoscale Resolution
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(8), 1108; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9081108 - 02 Aug 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1308
Abstract
At the core of additive manufacturing (3D printing) is the ability to rapidly print with multiple materials for arbitrary distribution with high resolution, which can remove challenges and limits of traditional assembly and enable us to make increasingly complex objects, especially exciting meta-materials. [...] Read more.
At the core of additive manufacturing (3D printing) is the ability to rapidly print with multiple materials for arbitrary distribution with high resolution, which can remove challenges and limits of traditional assembly and enable us to make increasingly complex objects, especially exciting meta-materials. Here we demonstrate a simple and effective strategy to achieve nano-resolution printing of multiple materials for arbitrary distribution via layer-by-layer deposition on a special deposition surface. The established physical model reveals that complex distribution on a section can be achieved by vertical deformation of simple lamination of multiple materials. The deformation is controlled by a special surface of the mold and a contour-by-contour (instead of point-by-point) printing mode is revealed in the actual process. A large-scale concentric ring array with a minimum feature size below 50 nm is printed within less than two hours, verifying the capacity of high-throughput, high-resolution and rapidity of printing. The proposed printing method opens the way towards the programming of internal compositions of object (such as functional microdevices with multiple materials). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoscale Self-Assembly: Nanopatterning and Metrology)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Tannic Acid-Mediated Aggregate Stabilization of Poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone)-b-poly(oligo (ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate) Double Hydrophilic Block Copolymers
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(5), 662; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9050662 - 26 Apr 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2206
Abstract
The self-assembly of block copolymers in aqueous solution is an important field in modern polymer science that has been extended to double hydrophilic block copolymers (DHBC) in recent years. In here, a significant improvement of the self-assembly process of DHBC in aqueous solution [...] Read more.
The self-assembly of block copolymers in aqueous solution is an important field in modern polymer science that has been extended to double hydrophilic block copolymers (DHBC) in recent years. In here, a significant improvement of the self-assembly process of DHBC in aqueous solution by utilizing a linear-brush macromolecular architecture is presented. The improved self-assembly behavior of poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone)-b-poly(oligo(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate) (PVP-b-P(OEGMA)) and its concentration dependency is investigated via dynamic light scattering (DLS) (apparent hydrodynamic radii ≈ 100–120 nm). Moreover, the DHBC assemblies can be non-covalently crosslinked with tannic acid via hydrogen bonding, which leads to the formation of small aggregates as well (apparent hydrodynamic radius ≈ 15 nm). Non-covalent crosslinking improves the self-assembly and stabilizes the aggregates upon dilution, reducing the concentration dependency of aggregate self-assembly. Additionally, the non-covalent aggregates can be disassembled in basic media. The presence of aggregates was studied via cryogenic scanning electron microscopy (cryo-SEM) and DLS before and after non-covalent crosslinking. Furthermore, analytical ultracentrifugation of the formed aggregate structures was performed, clearly showing the existence of polymer assemblies, particularly after non-covalent crosslinking. In summary, we report on the completely hydrophilic self-assembled structures in solution formed from fully biocompatible building entities in water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoscale Self-Assembly: Nanopatterning and Metrology)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Back to TopTop